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Old 08-15-2009, 05:15 AM   #1
Darryl Shaw
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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Default Bone Mineral Content of North Alaskan Eskimos.

Bone mineral content of North Alaskan Eskimos

ABSTRACT: Direct photon absorptiometry was used to measure the bone mineral content of forearm bones in Eskimo natives of the north coast of Alaska. The sample consisted of 217 children, 89 adults, and 107 elderly (over 50 years). Eskimo children had a lower bone mineral content than United States whites by 5 to 10% but this was consistent with their smaller body and bone size. Young Eskimo adults (20 to 39 years) of both sexes were similar to whites, but after age 40 the Eskimos of both sexes had a deficit of from 10 to 15% relative to white standards. Aging bone loss, which occurs in many populations, has an earlier onset and greater intensity in the Eskimos. Nutritional factors of high protein, high nitrogen, high phosphorus, and low calcium intakes may be implicated. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 27:916-925, 1974.

Eskimos throughout the circumpolar regions have a diet highly dependent on animal foods, and the Eskimos of the north coast of Alaska in the past and even today have among the highest meat intakes. Caribou, sea mammals, fish, and birds constitute staple foods, and the supply is generally adequate. though seasonal variation does exist. This dependence on meats provides high intakes of protein and fat (and of course nitrogen. phosphorus. sulfur, and acid); there was a low intake of carbohydrates until the current importation of manufactured foods. Recent nutritional investigations of Alaskan Eskimo populations have generally shown adequate intakes of all major nutrients and little biochemical evidence of poor nutritional status (I ---ı5), except for some anemia and marginal vitamin B6 excretion in younger subjects.

Growth and development from early infancy on appears normal for a group with small adult stature. Eskimos seem to tolerate their dietary fat (6, 7) but have difficulties in handling carbohydrates to which they are relatively unaccustomed; both sucrose and lactose intolerance have been demonstrated in Alaskan and Greenland Eskimos (8-10), and impairment of glucose tolerance exists in Canadian Eskimos (11). Eskimos, and even whites in the Arctic, seem to tolerate the high meat diets well, but the long-term effect of this diet in particular on mineral metabolism has not been studied, although it is well-known that a meat diet, or high intakes of phosphorus or acid, will cause calcium loss. Meat diets have been shown to cause bone rarefaction (12), and among humans, vegetarians have less aging bone loss than omnivores (13). It was therefore of interest to examine the skeletal status of Eskimo natives of the Alaskan north slope.
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